tv Washington This Week CSPAN March 5, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm EST
not being in public office to work on telecommunication policy. that was the best four years of my life. not only did we have the personal friendship, we really felt that we were doing something for the country. i miss that. >> can i say the same thing? we had a special, special time oncreate a historic change our country and on the planet. to have jack be my buddy -- we played basketball all date for one hour. technically we were exposed we talking about policy, after you've had a good game of basketball, we just sit there and try to work out the differences to get it done. we are the best of friends then and now. >> senator edward markey and republican jack fields of texas. a few top members of congress.
>> thank you very much. c-span, created by america's cable companies 35 years ago and brought you as a public service by your local cable or satellite provider. weekend, there are a number of caucuses and one primary held across the country. today, kansas republicans and democrats are holding caucuses, as is main in kentucky republicans. nebraska democrats also holding caucuses today. louisiana voters will be casting ballots in that state's primary. on sunday, maine democrats holding caucuses and republicans in puerto rico voting a primary there. here's a look at some of the early results. we will go to kansas first senator ted cruz.
82% ofd the winner with the precincts reporting. he has just a little over 50%. donald trump with a little more than 24%. senator marco rubio with nearly 15% in the kansas caucus. in maine, just 5% of precincts reporting. with senator ted cruz having 48% of that small amount reporting. donald trump, 45%. and senator marco rubio almost 9%. we will have continuing returns as they become available. here on c-span. isight, the gridiron club holding its annual dinner in washington which traditionally features securable --features satirical skits about various politicians. every u.s. president except grover cleveland has spoken at the dinner at least once,
including president obama in 2011. we are looking at some of those arriving for tonight's dinner. you saw white house senior adviser valerie jarrett. former fed chairman alan greenspan. [chatter] >> and now, historian and author richard norton smith discusses the historical role of first ladies as political partners. this event took place thursday at mount vernon, the home of george and martha washington. it is an hour and 45 minutes. -- and 35 minutes.
richard: okay, good evening everyone. >> welcome to nonpertinent. -- to mount vernon. we've got a great program for you. we are delighted to have c-span here with us. this is a way to celebrate women's history month. mount vernon is of course a place that is making women's history every day that we remain open. we are the longest operating petition run by women -- operating institution run by women in american history. [applause] ladies camernon together in the 1850's to save
george washington's great estate and preserve it and make it available for all people to come and learn about the life, leadership, and legacy of george washington. we are continuing that today. it is a great connection to women's history. we have this wonderful lecture series tonight called the martha washington lecture. martha washington was a great woman in american history as well. i would like to thank, particularly the richard s reynolds foundation. we are delighted to have major pam reynolds with us, the founders and supporters of this program. we have a very special evening tonight. we have a feature with c-span's susan swain and richard norton smith, discussing the book "first ladies" and the first lady's project that has been crucial. first ladies, presidential historians, the lives among 45 iconic women. a book that was produced out of
it was in conjunction with the year-long series produced by c-span entitled "first ladies: influence an image." i will very shortly handed over to the experts to run the program. when he briefly say --let me briefly say -- who are these people sitting in the room? c-span.ain, co-ceo of a long history with a network. she was an on camera host for more than 30 years and interviewed murmurs public officials and historians. she has edited other c-span historical publications, including abraham lincoln, great american history's on her 16th president. and the sum in court -- the supreme court, a c-span book featuring justices in their own words. joining us is richard norton smith, an authority on the american presidency. he has held numerous directors of presidential libraries, which i am envious of. all the different titles he has brought together. i'm only a measly founding
director. you committee with director of two presidential libraries at once. at the time, wrote his great biography of george washington while doing that. he's extraordinary. deweytioned "thomas e. and his times." "the life of nelson rockefeller" and of course our favorite at mount vernon "patriach: george washington and the new american nation." let's give a big round of applause. [applause] susan: good evening. it is so much fun to be in a room of first ladies enthusiasts. thank you for inviting me tonight. i have been a neighbor of general and lady washington for 25 years. it is a delight to be here in this capacity tonight. especially to talk about first ladies as they impact our
country's history. when mount vernon extended its invitation, we decided the best thing to do would be replicate our first ladies television program. while we have the cameras here, we will shortly conversation with richard, who is one of the nation's preeminent presidential historians. after about 45 minutes, we will open it up for questions. so get engaged, enjoy it. this is a lot more fun when it's interactive. you are not live, so don't worry about being transmitted to the nation. we are recording it for later airing on c-span. the first ladies project was so rich. we did all 45 women who served in the role. we did not want to keep you here for 2 days, so we decided we needed to focus our efforts. since we're in the middle of this rather momentous presidential election, and we are only two days past virginia's day at super tuesday, i am thinking many of you tonight are thinking about the next occupants of the white
house. we chose as our theme tonight "first ladies as political partners." we're going to talk about 8-9 women who have been particular political partners to their potential spouses. to some degree, all first ladies have been political partners. after all, politics is the family business. they live above the store when they get to the white house. who has a greater stake in a family success than first lady? once they are in the white house, no matter how many close aids for advisors the president has, who has greater access to the president than the person who can employ persuasive power of pillow talk? [laughter] we don't know a lot in many cases about the influence they have had in the nature. many first ladies we do know about their political. we will explore that tonight. to whet your appetite for our description, we will show a few clips from the first lady's project. i want to show you one of my
favorite video clips from the series. it is an audio clip with pictures. it illustrates one of the presidencies most relationships, linden and lady bird johnson. when i say lyndon johnson, it conjures up an image of a tough guy, in-your-face politics. you have seen the pictures of him leaning in to get his way. there was one person that he listens to quite regularly. you will hear from this tape how much influence lady bird would have on him. let us listen. >> would you want to listen to my critique? >> yes ma'am, i will listen to it now. >> i thought you sounded strong, firm, and look like a reliable guy. you looked resplendent. say there were more close-ups than there were
distant. during the statement, you were a bit breathless.i think it was a little too fast . not enough change in pace. a drop invoice at the end of the sentence. >> yes ma'am. [laughter] that great? the other thing about that dynamic that is interesting is secretlyon johnson recorded telephone conversations in the oval office. lady bird had no idea she was being recorded. so you're getting the unvarnished ladybird in that capacity. we have many more of those in our archives that are wonderful. we've got a lot of stories like this to tell. i want to get going on this. but i want to make two introductions. first of all, the gentleman standing against the wall is mark farkas. mark has a 30 year history at
c-span. he has been the executive producer of all or special history projects, including "first ladies." he was a wonderful partner to me as we hosted this. he was very much involved in the editorial content. he directed our deep dive into the first lady sites around the country. tonight he has been the person selecting all these tapes and working with richard and i put the program together. he is always behind-the-scenes. i just wanted to take the opportunity for him to get recognition. [applause] now mark, get back to the producers' booth so we can show our video. [laughter] and richard norton smith. it's a professional relationship, but started 25 years ago. he has been a longtime history consultant to c-span, but the friendship has evolved from that. i'm delighted to work with him again tonight. he is really one of the
best-known presidential biographers. what he does is make history, alive -- history come alive. he was also the godfather -- do you mind if i call you that? of the first ladies. richard: i have been called worse. [laughter] susan: when we were thinking about the next project, he kept whispering in my ear "those ladies are really interesting. you really have to do the first ladies." once we got into the project, we thought he was so right, what took us so long? thank you for getting us started on this project, which is five years in the making. a year of research, a full year of television programs. each lady got hurt due. -- got her due. it is been a labor of love. let's get started.
susan: okay, can you hear me? do i need you? how about now? go. great. here we go richard. seatbelt buckled? [laughter] richard: is it going to be a bumpy road? [laughter] richard: we must start into difference to the martha washington lecture with the very first first lady. we make the point that she was entirely conscious of everything she did. that in itslk about
political ramifications. talk about the washington's and the years before they got to the white house. you don't think of it as conventional politics, because we do not have a system in place. were they in fact political partners? richard: they were partners in every sense of the word. ithere are all sorts of ways by measuring the impact of first ladies. but the ultimate, it seems to if they hadagine not existed. married georgeot washington in 1759 at a house called the white house, i don't think we would be here this evening. she was that essential. her role, her encouragement, her support. her plantation management skills are very practical. and not least of all--
i want to counter the notion that some cynics hold that washington married her for her money. unaware thatobably she was the wealthiest whittle in virginia -- wealthiest widow in virginia. there was no doubt overtime whenever it was in the beginning, it grew into a genuine match. that, political partners. before we had a union, presidency, george washington was in many ways fulfilling the role during the war. and likewise, martha. much of the time she was here running mount vernon. it was a job in itself. much of the time she was with him, not just as a career -- as a courier tending to the needs
of soldiers. she was his surrogate, his sounding board, she was the one person of all the men whom this give hisdid not often trust to people. but he trusted her implicitly. when we talk about influence, is pauses.o look at public we associate her activism. but literally at the end of the day, when you talk about, talk, the ultimate influences -- about pillow talk, the ultimate influence a first lady has is the marital relationship,. the special bond that resist between -- that exists between
husband and wife. she set a pattern. when they got to new york, the first capital, anything he did set a precedent for the office. to some degree, it defined the nation. everything she did was likewise. she was aware of the fact -- she did not particularly enjoy it -- but she enjoyed -- she realized she was a celebrity. she was a object of public interest. it was a royal progress wherever she went. what did she do? dolly madison is credited with having the first salon in washington. a political gathering which established a precedent, which is going strong 200 years later. except now you don't have republicans and democrats attending the same parties. but you do it in dolly madison's day.
she understands you can get more business done than in a committee room. washington, martha had a weekly state dinner to reach members of congress. we know they were political. there was a senator from pennsylvania that was a critic of the administration who mistook washington's offering and a second helping of pudding for lobbying for the president's program. night, mrs. washington had a reception. it was a public reception. just as every tuesday afternoon, every reasonable well-dressed new yorker could walk into the president's house and meet the president. you didn't shake hands. but by the same token, mrs.
washington's friday night receptions were open to virtually anyone. that said. what we are in the business of defining this young nation. we are an offshoot of a monarchy. we have rebelled against it. but we are a child of it. there were certainly elements of new york that wanted to try to loyal -- of ms of court.eorge's every step that martha and mr. washington took showed it would be democratic. voiced ofo criticism martha washington. washington was criticized. there were those that thought washington's parties were too
semi-royal. but no one criticized the first lady herself. finally, if she had done nothing else, martha washington said something that i often thought to be carved over the entrance of the white house for anyone that lives there. she said "the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances." that is wisdom. and applicable assume any --applicable to so many clinical situations. susan: she built a very constrained by the position. or the quotes in the book is that she felt like a prisoner of the state, who could no longer live her life. much as she sacrifices he did, no doubt about it. people tend to overlook that she outlived all four of her children. she lost all of her children.
she lost her first husband. there is a lot of tragedy in martha washington's life. in manycourse she was ways as much a face of the revolution, particularly to those fighting it as was the commanding general. susan: that is one of the notes i wanted to talk about. we think about celebrity in the white house as a modern concept. but these two people were the most famous people in the u.s. richard: they were the most famous people on earth, arguably. washington,phy of it is tough. many i've never gotten over that frosty face on the dollar bill. but enough research has been done -- we can imagine washington as a young man. washington, we think
she was born a man -- -- born a grandmother with a cat and white hair. [laughter] it's hard to imagine these two yung dynamic people who are clearly drawn from one another. have a would go on to happy marriage. it was a marriage steered by forces beyond their control. but that only fused the union even more. susan: i just read george washington's farewell address on his birthday. he noted 45 of his life he committed to public service. and she was equally committing 45 years of her life. it does not get as much credit. that george washington was gone for 8 years. and she had to keep this enormously complex business
running while he was gone. richard: it says something about her administrative talent, which were considerable. tragedyt historiographic late about the washington's, but particularly martha washington, is that at insistedshe perversely on taking much of her story with her. i am referring to the fact that she destroyed virtually their entire documents. we will never know her or the general for that matter. not as well as we might have. there is a modern-day parallel. harry truman comes down to the house of independents to find the fireplace, his wife throwing papers in. she says "i'm burning your love letters."
doing?, "what are you think of history!" and she says "i am harry, i am." [laughter] our second subject matter is abaco adams. by contrast, she had thousands of letters of correspondence with john adams. all of them are preserved. they are the only real records we have of american women's life during the revolutionary years. they are priceless sets of documents were us. abigail, it would be fair to say she was our most political first lady? richard: certainly in the 19th century. she is the first to pay a price. the fact that she was and openly interested in politics, that she did not conceal her interest in politics, or the fact that she was her husband's closest advisor.
she had very strong views. he listened to her. they were may be the first political partnership in the sense that you and i think of it. in that she was criticizing the president. she was the first first lady to learn the unwanted title of mrs. president. i injury -- i assure you it was not intended as a component. susan: we have a video to show you about abigail at. let's watch. >> the first 10 years of their married life, john and abigail lived in his home from 1764 to 1774. it's also an important home because the primary link between she and john adams, who was serving at the second continental congress, would be letter writing. it was from the south that he was provided a window to what was happening back here in the colony of massachusetts during the revolutionary war. abigail would report to john about the militia of boston during the
battle of bunker hill on june 17, 7075. she took her gu -- she took her young son to the high point and watched the battle of bunker hill with her son. she would report to john adams of the fires and smokes rising from charlestown. she was literally the eyes of the revolution to john adams and essentially the second continental congress in philadelphia. susan: she also used those letters to lobby. one of the most famous phrases is her admonition to "remember the ladies" as you draft the founding document. did he listened to her? richard: he listened to her more than anyone else. [laughter] while writing letters and managing a farm, there is a -- when we were doing
an exhibit of memorabilia from abigail'sents, it has bullet mold. in her spare time -- and she got have a lot -- she did not have a lot. she made bullets. she melted lead and fashioned bullets along with the neighboring ladies of massachusetts bay. the bullets obviously to be put to good use by the continental army. susan: i think about this small group of first ladies, the revolutionary class who were political minded and put their lives on the line. we have to have a real appreciation for that. it is interesting that the next days, once the country becomes successful, they become less political. they become assigned to a certain sphere for the rest of the 1800s.
richard: there is this extraordinary strength of tragedies in the white house. first ladies dying, or of children dying. remarkable. that one of the most successful of all first ladies, internally difficult times, wasn't married to the president at all. well-trainedece, by her uncle to be as diplomatic as he. and to master the art of saying nothing graciously. [laughter] but remember, the union is coming apart at the seams.
planning aparty, dinner party in washington in 1859 is different from 1959. befriended the prince of wales. this was when buchanan was u.s. ambassador to impress the queen. she was so impressed with queen victoria, she married harry off to some elderly lord. that did not happen. she was on a first name basis with queen victoria and her son, later edward the seventh. --n he came to washington they came to mount vernon. susan: everyone wanted to come to mount vernon. richard: the king of england, and the ultimate act of reconciliation, placed a wreath
at the tomb of washington. susan: we only have a bit of time. we decided to leave aside the obvious. you probably know some about them. firstample, my dearest lady, dolly madison. we will not talk about her tonight because we have other people that you may not know quite some about. the next first lady actually never made it to the white house. but there are interesting parallels with the time we are going through now. her name is rachel dalton jackson. her campaign of 1828 was so hard-fought. she ended up being one of the objects of the fighting. there is a tragic end to her story. we need to learn why the 1820 election is so challenging and what her particular part was in it. richard: we have to remember, you had a four way race. allegations of a corrupt deal
that led to number two finisher, john quincy adams, to be elated over the number one finisher, andrew jackson. from the beginning of the atoms presidency -- adams presidency, jackson supporters were preparing for a rematch. you have four years of partisan dealings heating up. sorted -- he was generally regarded as the dirtiest campaign in american history.much of that revolves around mrs. jackson, who was not always mrs. jackson. the circumstances under which reallycame mrs. jackson spread the wellspring of scandal. rachel donaldson had been unhappily married to someone, who by universal accounts, was an s.o.b. i don't know what the legal term
is. [laughter] but he left her. she fell in love with a young andrew jackson. he believed that the first husband were divorced. they were in effect husband-and-wife, only to learn to their horror later that no legal termination to the first marriage had occurred. for the rest of her life, jackson made it his defining mission in life to shield rachel as much as possible from the viciousarsh, often criticism that was aimed at her. ironically she said that she did not much care for politics. rather be awould
doormaid in a house of the lord than in the palace at washington." ironically she got her wish in 1828. jackson wins in a landslide over adams. 3weeks after the election, days before christmas in 1828, rachel, who is dreading washington, suffers a fatal heart attack. and jackson is obviously heartbroken, but jackson does not stay broken for long. being jackson, he resolves that he will protect rachel's memory and that of any other woman who is wronged for political reasons. which gives rise to what scholars refer to as the peggy eaton affair. that tore his presidency
apart.in any event fascinating to speculate what kind of first lady rachel might have made. susan: let us show a brief video from the series. then we will talk about that. was we learned is that he so consumed by what it happened to her, that it is dominated his first term in office. let's watch a bit of that briefly then come back and talk about. >> she might not have been vice abaco adams, but she could write a nice letter and nice jewelry. she was not as frumpy as she was reputed to be. >> as he rose and politics, that was an ugly sore. she was called the names. >> the campaign was so badly fought that the abstraction went all out, completely calling her a whore. they used every piece of garbage they could find. rachael leigh cook garbage for them. -- rachel was good garbage for
them. >> she never did. before he left to go to washington, she did. sad in thataid -- so inaugural gown. what they say about jackson is that he was a populist president. greatly loved by the people, but also much by the establishment. tennessee was considered the frontier. which wasked a pipe, scandalous to the women of washington. all that was fodder for criticism. but she was also a very conservative person. she was very religious. they believed that had she lived, she would have been a governor of the system. that he would not have been such a wild man in office. richard: that is an interesting theory. i think it holds truth to the extent that it jackson became conventional in any way. for instance, he became quite
religious overtime. clearly that was an influence of rachel's. both alive and posthumously. susan: if you don't remember the affair, it was the life -- the wife of a number of his cabinet? richard: the secretary of war, her name is peggy eaton. she ran a board house in washington and is permitted -- and is reputed to have slept with most of those customers. jackson absolutely refused to believe any of the gossip. "she was pure as the driven snow." in his volcanic anger was turned instead, almost in absentia, against the introducers of this fine woman. who clearly became a stand-in in his own mind for rachel. one woman had been wronged under death. he was not going to let a
political death be inflicted on a number of his cabinet. susan: and the whites of the cabinet members refused to meet her. -- the wives of the cabinet members refused to meet her. it was a custom of the date. the anger just grew at the snub. richard: talk about luck. martin van buren was secretary of state, was a widower. he done a have -- he did not have a wife to offend the president. he became a great firneriend of jackson's. jackson saw to it that in the end it was van buren seated him. part of that relationship came about because the van buren was the only person in the cabinet who stood by virtuous peggy. susan: the rest of the cabinet resigned. he became a crisis.
if you follow the path, the anger over the treatment of rachel jackson, which led to his overreaction to the snub of pegg y, which led to the resignation of the cabinet, which led to martin van buren's presidency. [laughter] you can see how history has an interesting way of the bouncing ball moving along. we have 70 of the women from that era. -- have so many women from that era. we are going to jump into a very different time. let me make sure i am ready for it. okay, we can talk about some your favorites from that period./ i'm going to move all the way to helen taft. richard: sure. and it is a leap. [laughter] susan: it is a leap. helen taft is interesting to all of us in washington because she pointed at the cherry trees in washington. she is and ask her first lady
who deserves more attention. interestingly enough, at the turn of the last century, she was early modern in that she played cards. she smoked cigarettes, she liked a beer now and then. all of this drove roosevelt, -- edith roosevelt, the first lady at the time, very crazy by this. there was great antipathy between the two. what we should think about with helen taft is that she was much more ambitious for her husband then her husband was for herself. you remember it that william howard taft was the only person history who was both president and chief justice. he just wanted to be chief justice. but helen had aspirations for the white house. i will have richard tell the story. she personally lobbied theodore roosevelt for her husband's nod to succeed him. without helen taft, there would
be no william howard taft in the white house. i will keep going, and you can stop me because i'm not the historian. but without william howard taft, there may not have been a angry theodore roosevelt, that messes a campaign, which put woodrow wilson in the white house. so here we go again. one woman's ambition starting this trajectory. richard: absolutely. an ohioan. she was among other things, one of the founders of the cincinnati symphony. cherryh you remember her blossoms, that is not what she focused on. she wanted to build a band show near washington so that people could, and listen to find music. she has a young woman had attended the 25th wedding
anniversary party to the white house of rutherford and lucy hayes. she decided she would like to come back one day and spend more time. [laughter] , we talke tragedies about the string of tragedies of helen taft, who really wanted to be first lady. today she would be president. about three months after taft became president, she suffered a stroke. with characteristic determination, she had to relearn speech. and she did. but it contributed to the general melancholy of the single taft term, over which hung this cloud called theodore roosevelt.
susan dempsey, although she had lobbied to support her husband for the presidency, she had a much better political mind. as far astrusted tr she could throw him. she kept telling her husband not to trust theodore. in the end, in 1912, he turned on taft and ran the boldness. -- the bull moose. she is the first first lady to pass legislation with her name on it. legislation to improve working conditions for federal employees. particularly women who are beginning to move into the federal workforce in large numbers. she was ahead of her time in a lot of ways. she was certainly more liberal than her husband. rift: the was in fact the
between her husband and theodore roosevelt. richard: tr had kept moving steadily toward the left, left of center. judge.t he was a he had a judicial temperament. no one ever accused tr of having a judicial temperament. [laughter] helen was in between. susan: there is one of the consequence of helen, it was personal. the presidents do not have large staff. he spent much of his time with cards, teaching his wife had to read again. he had many other things he should have been worrying about than his own family problems. that's another consequence of how hwe orchestrate white house s. but he had no other advisors to turn to. richard: history might have been
different had her health held up. loadusly he was much more to share his burdens with her once she became sick. helen taft should be remembered for another consistent figur ein her life. they had enormous success in the philippines. in no small measure because mrs. taft insisted on abolishing a color barrier. the u.s. army, which has governed exclusively up until that time, had reinforced a lot of the racial animosities that they brought with them. helen taft, again ahead of her time, when she became first lady, relaxed the ban on divorced people coming to white house receptions.
she opened the place up. again, she is a footnote. she did a lot more than cherry trees, is what i am suggesting. that makes her almost emblematic of this whole series. susan: our next piece is not very long, and echo of 1920. you know the significant of the 1920 election. can anybody tell me? women's vote. first time in history that women could cast the vote. richard: and they elected warren harding. [laughter] who was thought to be the most-- i think he would be on your list of those who were not become president without any vicious and talented wife. it started with a small-town newspaper in marion, ohio. she was the brains behind the operation. richard: she was a business
manager. harding. liked not everybody liked her. she was known as the duchess. but she did not care. she had executive skills. she had a really rough life. she was disowned by her wealthy father for marrying warren harding. marriage,common-law and a son that was born out of wedlock. she wasn't the most maternal of women. the relationship with the sun was difficult enough. -- with her son was difficult enough. her gumption led her first
gave into lessons to support herself and her infant. determination, she said her cap on the rising young politician newspaper editor, warren harding. steppingstonese to partisan politics in the days. in 1920, both major party candidates were ohio newspaper editors. mrs. harding took a prominent part. she understood, she again was ahead of her time. she understood image making. jolson and mary pickford came to marion one day. she played along with that. she understood the appeal of celebrity. on the one hand, she had a
famous waffle recipe. i don't think she ever actually cooked. she made it clear she didn't much care for cooking. but she would play that role for that segment of the electorate that cared about that. she also would go and sit in the senate gallery and take notes during the debate of the league of nations. we also know that she patronized and astrologer u dupont circle. -- astrologer in dupont circle. that told her her husband was likely to be elected in 1920. and that he would not survive his term. imagine -- i mean, the mixed emotions she had. on the one hand, like helen taft, she really was pushing. she was the engine of the this genial, not
particularly impressive husband. about that. that added to the difficulty in her life. but nevertheless, she pushed him. "i seesame time she said one word written over the future: atrocity." she turned out to be a better astrologer. susan: she also did not server --did not survive her term in the white house. richard: she almost died 2 years into the presidency. he died august 1923. she lived almost a lifelong kidney condition, which had almost killed her more than once. it made her a semi-invalid. about florence harding, when they move into the
.hite house after world war i the white house has really shut down in part because of security and the president's condition. she ordered that the shades be opened. straff on the remonstrated that it was not the custom during wartime. she said "let them look in, it's their house." susan: the film industry was being born in prominent, so we actually have a film of florence harding. this was there front porch campaign. we are in marion, ohio, off their front porch. we will learn more about her political skills. just watch.
>> all of the action took place on this porch here. usually during speeches, warren would stand in the middle on the steps. florence right beside him. they would wait to the crowd -- they would wave to the crowds. she is not aware -- not afraid to wait into the crowd. she is in the line shaking hands along with the president to-be. she gave interviews herself to magazines, especially women's magazines.she alternated between being the savvy politician to being th e homebody, the wife, the caretaker of the candidate. she knew how politics worked. she knew the different sides of her that would have to be portrayed as part of this campaign in order to make his campaign successful for him.
was goingt campaign to be easy for someone in harding's party. but it was difficult for him. the news of his affairs broke. the republican party had actually paid the woman-- richard: there was more than one. now -- the know letters are now available -- harding had a passionate long-standing affair with a woman named carrie phillips, who was married to one of his best friends. the two couples would vacation together. [laughter] how would you like to have been on that? anyway, where it gets complicated is that kerry phillips -- carrie phillips was pro-german. she would sometimes blackmail
her lover if you went along with this wilsonian war against the country that she looked to as a kind of second home. republican national -- theye sprung decided that phillips would go on a long vacation that coincided neatly with the 1920 campaign. msnbc.hey would be on [laughter] one other thing about florence harding, which makes her one of us, she was a very outspoken champion of animal-rights. she understood the power of the press and photographs.
for graphs of her dog were transmitted across the country. everybody liked that dog. susan: she really needs credit for opening up the white house. they had sheep a grazing on the white house. there is a wonderful story about florence harding as a senator's wife going cross the white house. it was muddy and she tripped and fell. she said "if i ever get to that house, those darn sheep are gone." and she did, so how about that. a lot of wonderful stories to tell between the 1920's and 1950's. we will have to leap forward. our next first lady we have chosen is not one that you think of as being an apparently political. but in fact she was a very
important political asset to her husband. you a wonderful piece of video before we start. this was about the rise of television in america. the rise of ad men wanting to craft the presidency. this is where the modern selling of the presidency began. mamie eisenhower was a wonderful avenue to remote good images -- to promote good images of the white house. people loved mamie. it's hard to think now, but she was considered a fashion icon in her time. [laughter] one of the great stories we tell bangs were -- those so popular they sold click on bangs. so you too could have your own mamie bangs without needing to go through the pain of growing them. [laughter]
a television special, a birthday tribute to mamie. but it wasn't her birth day. it was an important day in the election calendar. >> the women of our country swept eisenhower into office four years ago. they will probably decide the election this time. and they like ike. there's somebody else they like, too. ike's beloved mamie, whose smile and modesty and easy natural charm make her the ideal first lady. let's keep our first lady in the white house for four more years. >> i hope that you, the members of our organization and our distinguished guest will enjoy this salute to our first lady. ♪
a public symbol in the 1950's. as jackie kennedy would be in the 1960's. her-- the bangs were to imagine mrs. kennedy sitting still for a tribute like that. [laughter] susan: how the world changed in just eight years. since this discussion of politics, this was the cold war era. they were trying to project a certain image. richard: certainly in 1952, when eisenhower was running against a divorced man. only the second time in american history that a major party has nominated a divorced man, james coxe being the first. susan: he got remarried. richard: in 1952, it was seen --
-- was perceived thruman had been in the white house for 8 she was not an activist or an .dvocate i don't think she ever had a press conference. all seen the famous clip of her trying to chris and the ship with the champagne bottle. it won't break. was a one person in all the world that harry truman knew he could say anything to. ike and mamie had that
kind of relationship. thee is a reason why eisenhower's are associated with the 60's. >> i was amazed to find that there are certain women throughout history that met their future husbands and understood that he was going to be something. like mrs. nexen came home from their first date and said he's going to be president someday. ofve all heard the story jobary leaving her plum
because bill is going to be president someday. lady bird johnson met lyndon and married him seven weeks later. as a congressional aide who was telling her he had a future in politics. she had a few weeks to make up her mind over he was moving on. one of the great political partnerships in history. she was a business powerhouse. a terrific politician. smith: it is interesting that first ladies of both local parties. mrs. bush. they ask for role models. everyone says lady bird. traditionalist
who put her husband and children first. and also an activist. environmentalist before the term caught on. something that was banningo pass billboards in 1965. ton it was for helen taft upgrade working conditions for federal employees. she was instrumental behind the scenes in head start. we never could come up with a better word than beautification. she didn't care for the word. when extraordinary impact she had. she won the 1960 election.
jfk puts lbj on the ticket. evidence of how shrewd both men are. they need each other. kennedy can't win without the south. in the final days the ticket was trailing. they go to dallas. had its share of crazies. usually right wing. vehemently anti-kennedy. leaven and mrs. johnson their favorite hotel. across the street.
they are set upon by a crowd of angry make wearing republican matrons. carrying hostile signs. lbj understanding this is getting us bushels of votes. slowly.e they walk very the television cameras show it. we were a different country in 1960. less course. the thought that the flower of southern womanhood, lady bird johnson, could be treated in such a fashion was offensive.
>> i have three more first ladies. richard has moved to grand and is living in apartments that overlooks president ford's gravesite. betty ford as the next person i want to talk about. she was divorced. he was very quiet about his marriage proposal. smith: in 1948 he came back from the war. he had been isolationist. now he was an internationalist. wanted to run for congress.
if all in love with betty warren . that was her married name. he told her he wanted to marry her. he couldn't tell her when. only afterwards did she discover that in fact he didn't tell her west michigan is heavily dutch. calvinists. he was a three to 100 all going into the race. the front of marrying a divorced woman would've finished them. enough to wait until after he won the primary. to schedule the wedding.
they went back to grand rapids. could you make me a sandwich? this was a preview of coming attractions. she got a whole and honeymoons afterwards. >> he was gone a lot. she was left at home in alexandria with five kids. actually. that is a terrible price to pay. one they can all the decisions for the family while your husband is out campaigning. i wonder whether that contributed to her depression.
smith: she is emblematic of a whole generation of women. there is a physical explanation. in 1964 she tried to raise a window and pulled the nerve. bothered her for the rest of her life. the doctors gave her pills which with even the slightest bit of alcohol had a magnifying effect. already gone to a psychiatrist. her husband was climbing the clinical ladder. her children were growing up.
dancer the martha graham it wasn't that she resented the role that she was playing. she was asking herself is that there was a primary challenge from ronald reagan that he became very active very popular nationally because of her support of the e.r.a. at her outspokenness on her daughters when he lost on
election day we usually the concession speech. betty ford: the president asked me to tell you that he telephoned president-elect carter and congratulated him. the president also wants to thank all of those people who and so hard on his behalf to the millions who supported him with their votes. honor been the greatest of my husband's life to have during two of the most difficult years in our history. smith: he had lost his voice. that's why he she read the
concession. the other half of that campaign was rosalyn carter. she married him at the age of 18. in part to get out of planes georgia. he was the most catchable guy in planes georgia. a naval officer. a partnership that endures to this day. she would drive herself during the campaign. but herself for interviews on radio. she was in this completely.
>> in the final days of georgia supporters referred to as carter's peanut brigade flew into new hampshire. her schedule was grueling. rosalynn remained a gracious campaigner. havingn carter: everybody know everything you do. i tell them that we were born and raised and still live in planes georgia. it has a population of 683. and everybody always know everything i did. no hint of scandal in his life. he can restore that honesty and integrity to government. i think you'll be a great
president. >> she sat in on cabinet meetings. smith: she had an office in the west wing. just as abigail adams and sarah the mere fact that she advertiser interest in government led also to criticism. positionn first lady professionalized is very likely the legacy of rosalynn carter. the staffing pattern. jobtook this ill-defined and defined it. >> her signature issue was mental health. her greatest disappointment was
that she left office before she was able to get legislation passed. she personally lobby congress and testified. smith: the first first lady to testify before congress since eleanor roosevelt. just as gerald ford and jimmy carter became good friends, so did mrs. ford and mrs. carter. they would lobby congress together. mrs. ford on behalf of substance abuse. and mrs. carter mental health. they made a formidable team. >> our final one is nancy reagan. this was a different kind of partnership. nancy davis was an actress in hollywood.
during the blacklist era. she found her name on a blacklist. she wasn't sure how to clear it. suggested that she should go visit the head of the screen actors guild. that was ronald reagan. dinner andnto a long a romance and ultimately she was aware of his clinical ambitions because she had been in the screen actors guild. the role that she played throughout. she had some early missteps. known as thes person who had his back. she was called the personnel director. she watched everybody that surrounded the president. made sure h they were loyal to him.
smith: she had a thankless role. ronald reagan really was as nice a guy as you here. he was as close to being without guile is any president. he believed the best in people. he did not automatically assume that people have agendas of their own. was admirable traits. it places a particular burden on someone whether the white house toef of staff or a spouse compensate for that. i believe when the history books are written we are only beginning to see this mrs. reagan will get even more credit for the enormous role that she played.
protecting her husband, sometimes maybe from himself. >> we have one more piece of video. was one of the last interviews she gave, for c-span. she talked about her relationship and her role. reagan: i just had little antennas that went up and told me when somebody had their own agenda and not ronald's. i would tell him. he did not always agree with me. it usually worked out.
smith: she has forgotten more about american first lady's than the rest of us know. she established a four-person advisory board of which richard was one. the smithsonian has a first lady exhibit. that was her baby. smith: it was edith mayo who insisted that it wasn't enough to show a room full of dresses. these women were much more than the clothing they wore. their substantive contributions needed to be brought to light. no one has done more to humanize and politicize this office.
lincoln had seances. whether the president went is unknown. spiritualism is very much a 19th century phenomenon. she was the ultimate fainting lady. a tragic story. her son was on a train with his parents coming from new way to then their white house. the train derailed and many was killed. the president-elect carried the body onto the train. how do you recover from that?
she went to the white house and spent the time in the residence writing letters to her dead son. having the white house draped in black. smith: she was a very profound calvinist. she believed that this was god's punishment. and that her husband had lied to her about the extent to which he eventually promoted himself as a .andidate in 1852 it was not a happy presidency. >> i really enjoyed the first lady series.
it would be nice to run the series again with the presidential series that was wrong in the 90's. what about john quincy adams wife? lobbied for really her husband to be president. i'm not sure that any other wife in our history competed like that. that is one of richard's favorite first ladies. we had to leave people on the list. smith: being married to john quincy adams would qualify you for a kind of sainthood.
he was a polymath, he spoke six languages. he could write greek with his left hand and latin with his left. he married this remarkable woman. ladynly foreign-born first . she was english. i don't think she ever quite felt totally at home here. noah on his arti felt more at home. as the wife of a diplomat in the napoleonic wars, she did heroic things. there is a wonderful new book about her. how she managed to get herself paris in the dead
.f winter through the alps an amazing story. long before they ever came home and john quincy became secretary of state and the president. you mentioned her involvement in promoting him. she was a great hostess. one of the ways in which she worked. f street a house on after st in washington. she was a great party giver. sadly, this happened with the lincolns, they were partners while climbing the ladder. president, theme job consumed him. there was no obvious
role for her. gratification. .he is a famous chocoholic wonderful letters in which she anscribes lying on a div eating chocolate and extolling the medicinal qualities of fudge/ he was the sourness to man in washington and she took her suites where she could. weets where she could. this new book will provide a lot more attention to louisiana. a.
she is being rediscovered. can you talk about lou hoover? smith: she was an extraordinary woman. she was a banker's daughter from iowa. always loved the outdoors. he wanted a fishing camp. they found a place out in the blue ridge and she designed the camp. there were 22 buildings. which he paid for out of his own pocket.
cabin, she didn't want to cut down a tree. sensitivityout her to nature. she was president of the girl scouts. girl scout cookies are part of her legacy. she was the first woman at stanford to major in geology. that is where she met her husband. he got married at the ripe old age of 25. develop coal mines. they arrive for their honeymoon in the middle of the boxer rebellion. letters sayinge you are missing one of the great seizures of the age. she is to sweep the bullets off her front porch. she loved adventure.
had offices on three continents. by the time her junior was eight years old he been around the world five times. cradleigned a exclusively for use on board ocean liners. didn't want to waste their time while they were on the ships. they translated a 16th century scholar. a 600 page book. he gave the gold medal to lou, saying she did all the work. a remarkable woman. very much in eleanor roosevelt's louow and yet eleanor and very good friends in the 1920's. in 1944 thed
president found her desk choked with checks uncashed from strangers who had written to her over the years. she had bothered to cash the checks. >> she fired the social secretary thinking she would need it. by that point needing to work the diplomatic side of washington was very important to the president. as a political partner i wouldn't trade her quite so highly. she was the first first lady to welcome an african-american woman socially to the white house. she was the wife of congressman oscar depriest from chicago.
over was a huge brouhaha what are we going to do. a lot of congressional lives who are prepared to sit in the same room. the controversy became a nationwide scandal of sorts. a sequel to theodore roosevelt's invitation to booker t. washington. legislature proposed impeachment of the president for filing the white house. lou apologized to the president. adding to his clinical burdens. one of the consolations is that it religion provides a hot hell for the texas legislature. >> this is a video that laura bush gave to us for this series.
what we expect of our first ladies. only country in the world that demands so much of them full-time commitments. constant scrutiny. the next campaign may change the dynamic greatly. based on the two front runners. whether our expectations should change. bush: the interesting question is not sure they receive a salary or should they be able to work for a salary. at their jobs. that they might have already had. that is what will have to come to terms with. for a first gentleman, he might continue to work. whatever.a lawyer or that is the question we should ask. should she have a career during
those years? as firston to serving lady. >> something to think about. it presents a conflict ofu interest issues. various amounts of involvement by the candidates. successful,ons are we will have the dynamic completely shifted with the former president in the role as first spouse. we'll have to rethink it altogether. thank you. [applause] [applause]
doug: edifying and brilliance. the way scholarship has evolved. you can't write great books about a president anymore and not take into account the women in their lives. the first ladies. women's history isn't just sort of happening over here. has done a great job. let's give them another round of applause. [applause] my pleasure is to invite you to purchase their book.
they will be up here to sign them. you can join me for a cocktail. thank you for coming out tonight. thank everybody who made this evening such a success. is always an embarrassment to say by my book. topan gives all the profits c-span education foundation. if you buy it, you are doing a good thing.
senator rubio: thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you. >> marco! marco! marco! senator rubio: thank you. this is the seventh straight year that i get to speak at cpac. it reminds me of the first year i was here. the year was 2010. i, at the time, was an underdog candidate for the united states senate. my opponent was a sitting governor of florida, his name was charlie crist. [booing] senator rubio: that is what i said at the time too. no one would listen.
it was in the aftermath of 2008. barack obama had won. we were told only path forward was to become like them, to basically be less conservative. i never believe that at that time, and i chose to run. it was a difficult race. the only people who thought i have a chance to win all lives in my home, and four of them were under the age of 10. the entire republican leadership in washington, d.c. was with him. everything i know that politics that there was no path forward. it didn't matter to me at the time. i believe deeply that if america continue on the road the new president have put us on, we would lose the things that made it a special country. you fast-forward seven years, to this moment, and things have only gotten worse.
we have only gone further and further away from the principles that made america the greatest nation in all of human history. it brings us to this moment in our history now. the election of 2016 is no longer a choice between political parties or even ideologies. the fundamental question before america right now is what kind of country is this going to be in the 21st century? [applause] senator rubio: the thing i always enjoy about cpac is the incredible number of young people who come to these. younger americans. [applause] senator rubio: by younger i mean anyone under 44. [laughter] senator rubio: although, i feel 45 this week, because i have had the flu. thank you. what we asked ourselves in this campaign is what is this country going to look like? what will look like when my 16-year-old daughter graduates from college? what will look like when my 13
your old daughter starts her first business or my tenure on sunday starts is family, or my eight-year-old son buys his first home? you will be the first americans -- that inherent, from a previous generation, a country that was worse off than your parents. that is the road we are headed on now. if we remain on that role, we have to explain why our children and grandchildren did not inherit what we did. to get off this road, we must embrace the principles that made us the greatest nation to begin with. that is why the theme of this gathering -- our time is now -- forces us to ask the question, what does it mean to be a conservative in the 21st century? it can never be simply about an attitude. being a conservative cannot be simply about how angry you are
willing to be or how many names you are willing to call people. [applause] senator rubio: conservatism has never been about fear or anger, not at its best. do people have a right to be fearful of the future right now? yes. for over two decades, leaders in neither party have solved the problems before us. people have the right to be angry about every institution in society, absolutely. neither anger nor fear will solve our problems. it will serve to motivate us, but will not solve our problems. what will solve our problems are a specific set of ideas that made america the greatest nation to begin with, and applying those principles to the unique challenges of this waiver century. those principles are not complicated.
it begins with the notion that this country was founded on a powerful spiritual principle that our rights do not come from government, our rights do not come from laws, our rights do not come from leaders, our rights come from god. [applause] senator rubio: our government does not exist to decide these rights, nor to grant them. our government exists to protect them. that is why we have a constitution that limits the power of the government to a few specific things. we have abandoned that. we have reached a moment in our history where we think every problem in america has to have a federal government solution. every problem in america does not have to have a federal government solution. in fact, most problems in america do not have a federal government solution, as most problems are created by the government to begin with. [applause]
senator rubio: and, so, to move forward in a better direction, it does me be embracing a following the first amendment. it is not just the right to believe anything you want, but the right to live out the teachings of your faith in everything aspect of your life. it means understanding that the second amendment was not a nice suggestion, it is a constitutional right to protect yourself and your families from terrorists. [applause] senator rubio: it means adhering to the 10th amendment, in which power is reserved for the states, not because we don't care about problems, but we know when the government tries to fix the problems, it often makes them worse, not better. let's return power to the state. [applause]
senator rubio: conservatism means be embracing -- re-embracing true free enterprise. not because my parents are wealthy or i inherited millions of dollars, because i did not, but because i met people and shook the hands of people doing the jobs that my parents once did. [applause] senator rubio: you know why they had a job? you know why my parents had a job? because free enterprise works. somebody created those jobs. with those jobs, they were able to raise their kids, buy a house, and have a future. free enterprise is the only system where you can make poor people richer, and you don't have to make rich people poorer. [applause]
conservativism means a strong national defense, not because we love more, but because we love peace. history has taught us that weakness invites violence, weakness invites war. [applause] senator rubio: so, conservatism believes that the u.s. military should always be the most powerful one on earth because the world is a safer place. conservatives believe we stand by our allies, especially allies might israel. there are the only pro-american free enterprise democracy in the middle east. [applause]
senator rubio: conservatives believe we need to defeat radical islam, not because we want more, but because isis and other radical islamists are enemies of peace. that is why we need a president, under whom the best military in the world will destroy terrorists, and if we catch them alive, a president that will send these terrorists to where they belong, guantanamo bay, cuba. [applause] [cheering] senator rubio: conservatives believe we take care of our veterans because we have a sacred obligation to take care
of them, after they have taken care of us. it is something that is not happening now. [applause] senator rubio: yes, conservatives believe in traditional values, not because we want to impose their views on anyone, but because to abandon those values would be to ignore our future. americans are not the most generous people on earth as part of laws make us generous. people do not contribute to charity in this country and record amounts because we have a tax break from it. we do so because this country has been shaped by judeo-christian principles that teach us we have an obligation to care for one another. [applause] senator rubio: we believe in traditional values because without them, without the believe an all-powerful government, the very founding of this country was meaningless. it was founded on the principle that our rights come from god. if there is no god, where do our rights come from?
you do not understand america, aged not understand our history, if you don't understand the role the faith community has played in making is the greatest nation in the history. [applause] senator rubio: i'm preaching to the proverbial choir on this issue. why? i think there is a growing amount of confusion about what conservatism is. it is time for us to understand the conservatism is not built on personalities. conservatism is not something built on how angry you might seem from time to time. conservatism is built on the set -- a set of principles and ideas that are nation desperately needs. for over 200 years, this has been an exceptional country. i know this personally, as do many of you.
for me, america is not just the country that i was born in, a litter the changed the history of my family. we have to believe what made that possible -- we have to remember, what made that possible was not by accident. it did not happen on its own. it happened because for over 200 years, generations before us did what needed to be done. for over two generations, americans before as confronted and solved problems. they embraced opportunity. americans have never had it easy. this was a nation founded by declaring independence from the nation in the world. the 1960's were difficult to this country, the civil rights movement divided us regionally, the vietnam war divided us generationally. americans have never had a easy. generations before us confronted challenges and solved problems.
my fellow conservatives, the time has come for this generation to do its part. the moment has arrived for us to do our part now. the stakes could not be higher because the future of the greatest nation on earth is at stake. i want to speak specifically to the younger people here today. i know that times are difficult. i want you to know that i believe something with all my heart. i believe that all young americans are on the verge and have the chance to become the next greatest generation in american history. [applause] senator rubio: i believe that the 21st century, the joint first century is tailor-made for america. there are now hundreds of millions of people in this planet that 100 years ago where starving. now they want to trade with you, collaborate with you.
these young americans have the chance to fulfill an incredible destiny. we have to give them the chance. they will not have the chance is hillary clinton or bernie sanders is elected. [applause] senator rubio: they won't have the chance if the conservative movement is hijacked by someone who is not a conservative. [cheering] [applause]
senator rubio: and so -- [cheering] senator rubio: and so, i'm already over time, so let me close with this. i have to answer questions. let me close with this. i know that all the news today sounds bad. the one thing that is always true is every generation believes the next generation is really messed up. i want you to believe, and know, i want you to know what history will say about as if we make the right decision now. it will say the world was changing, and we struggled to keep pace with it, and we almost got it wrong.
after eight years of barack obama and one crazy election, we almost got it wrong, we came this close, but then we remembered who we were. we remembered what america was. we confronted our challenges and embraced opportunity. we did what needed to be done. we did what needed to be done. the american dream did not just survive, it reached more people and changed more lives. it became a new american century. this is what we have the chance to do together, and the time to do it is now. thank you. [applause]